Having finally interviewed Gilles Boissard, I feel that is time to talk to his friend, Lina Jardero, who he described as “our nutritionist” and said “I can rely on her advice”. Hopefully she can reveal more about her major role in ‘Spiral of Hooves’, and what she knows as the tale opens.
Before you met Gilles Boissard, what were your hopes for the future? What changed that?
My life wasn’t going anywhere meaningful. Studying Animal Biology at McGill University and meeting Gilles was the chance to apply myself. I believed in his dreams and could apply mis talentos to make them real.
Your abilities – talents. So what kind of talents? How did they help Gilles?
Sólo mi educación. He needed my knowledge to improve the breeding of the horses. Without me, his father, Roman would have destroyed Du Noroît, our Canadian stud. Caramba, that man is a menace.
What are you willing to do to stop him?
[Lina laughs] No estoy loco. I have my science. The horses are healthier since my regime was implemented. He’s the crazy one. Ask him what he will do to stop us.
But what crime might you commit if the need arose?
I know what being a victim is like. So I don’t feel I can discuss that. Change the subject.
My apologies. It’s hard not to pry. So can I ask, who is your favourite author?
In my teens I discovered ‘The Mixquiahuala Letters’ by Ana Castillo, which rang very true as a young woman struggling with discrimination. Now if I read it seems to be all scientific papers. Just don’t tell Loup that I used to read literature, he’s such a bookworm that he might misunderstand me.
By Loup you mean Armand Sabatier, who you live with. Is he your partner?
[Lina laughs] He’s sweet but just a friend. I sometimes wish he wasn’t so like shy. That idiota, Roman calls him shifty but I know Loup means well. Perhaps he can be odd and evasive sometimes. So?
But you would trust him in a difficult situation?
Naturalmente, although I am unsure how useful he would be. That was why he gave me my dog for protection. If you want my choice of hero, it would be Gilles. Maybe with Loup as his sidekick.
Your raven hair and stunning looks – apologies – tell me that you are Latina. Does that influence your personality as well?
Apology accepted. But if you are suggesting that I’ve a fiery temperamento, you’re wrong. And work comes before pleasure. Next question.
Who then is your favorite superhero?
Wonderwoman, as I always wanted to be her. But my origin is not so interesante.
What was your life like growing up? You mentioned discrimination.
It was hard, being a Latina – an outsider. Even among my own I felt different. So I left home and made my own life. No fue fácil – it wasn’t easy. Until I met Gilles… and Loup.
Did your parents understand? Did they support you?
Only mi madre shared my pain. After I left home, it was her that needed the support, when I could send her anything. But I can no longer help my family. I’ve been forced to move on.
So this is now your family, here in Canada? Is this what Gilles called “the team”?
Si, mis amigos. Gilles and Armand, and our head groom, Odette Fedon. They are now mi familia.
A strong unit then. So you don’t fall out with each other?
Like all friends, si. We argue, shout and get upset. But it never lasts. Friends forever. Or is that tempting destino?
Probably, so what do you think is going to happen next?
We’ve been discussing that. Gilles wants to move to the new stud in England, Fenburgh. It’s the one he found with Odette. I fear that Roman will try to stop us.
How can he do that? Gilles suggested murder, but does he hate anyone that much?
We could give you a list. But I fear most for Odette. She has crossed Roman many times. But I hope I’m wrong. She is very special, and a crucial member of the team.
Muchas gracias, Senorita Jardero. I am grateful for your time. It has been fascinating to talk with you and…
“Tabernac, who gave you permission to interview her?”
“Your son and that’s good enough for me. If you want to be interviewed Monsieur Roman Boissard, I can make an appointment for next week…”
“I make the appointments here, not some insignificant writer. And definitely not my useless boy. Jardero, back to work at once. Haven’t you got something better to do, Clarke?”
Other ‘Spiral of Hooves’ interviews: